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AAAS Criticizes White House NIH Budget Plan for Fiscal 2008

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The American Academy of Sciences last week offered mixed reviews for the way the White House plans to fund agencies that support genomics research in fiscal 2008.
 
In a preview of an annual report, the AAAS was critical of proposed National Institutes of Health funding, figuring that the budget is down 12 percent from the apex it hit in 2004.
 
The AAAS calculated that under the President's plan the NIH budget would fall below between $329 million and $28.8 billion what it expects to be the "likely 2007 level."
 
"Most NIH institutes and centers would see their budgets remain flat for the fourth year in a row, with no allowance for inflation," AAAS said.
 
The report can be found here.
 
These numbers sink much lower when adjusted for economic inflation and biomedical inflation.
 
According to the AAAS, the 2008 NIH budget would be 7.6 percent below its 2004 peak. But based on NIH's own calculation of biomedical inflation the loss would be 12 percent.
 
As many as 10,000 new research grants may be offered in fiscal 2008, but AAAS said these will come at the expense of existing grants and programs such as  intramural research and training funds due to the expiration of a large number of existing grants.
 
Last week, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology today criticized the White House’s fiscal 2008 budget proposal for the National Institutes of Health, claiming it “deal[s] harshly with our country’s premier medical research agency."

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